Father set to lose £2,800 as funeral firm goes bust leaving thousands in limbo

A father from Newton Heath fears he’s set to lose £2,800 he paid right into a funeral plan after the corporate went bust.

Mark McCluney, a 51-year-old property developer and landlord, is getting ready to maneuver to the Philippines together with his accomplice and needed to ensure his 22-year-old son Christopher wouldn’t must deal with issues alone when he finally passes away.

He has paid into Secure Fingers Funeral Plans, who’re believed to have left round 45,000 prospects in limbo. Directors FRP stated they had been appointed to Secure Fingers Funeral Plans, after the corporate went bust following “a period of severe financial challenge which has left the business unsustainable in its current form.”

Mark says: “I just wanted to make sure that if anything happened, my son would not be burdened. He could just pick up the phone and it would be sorted. Safe Hands funeral plans were endorsed by the National federation of funeral directors.

“They supplied upfront or pay month-to-month funeral plans for purchasers which grew with inflation so in 5, 10, 30, 40 years the plan will nonetheless cowl the price of the funeral for the shoppers in keeping with inflation and price will increase.

“I received a letter from FRP informing me and thousands of other customers that Safe Hands funeral plans had gone into receivership and FRP are the appointed administrators. FRP are now carrying out an investigation into the mis-management of the company and where and how customers money has gone.

“The issue is funeral plans are un-regulated and open to fraud and abuse from anybody who desires to arrange random funeral plans for unsuspecting prospects. These plans had been common of £2,850 at a time when persons are being inspired to make pre-paid preparations for his or her funeral.

“This now throws doubt on the industry for providing the services that customers pay for and arrangements that are agreed beforehand, it’s a sad day for an industry where the customer’s relatives are suppose to put their trust into these funeral providers and ensure the deceased customers get their wishes.

“This industry now needs an overall and mandatory regulations put in place to prevent 1000s of more people falling foul of a fly by night funeral company wishing to raise capital and then close or mis-manage customers’ money to such degree that the business ceases trading. There has to be accountability and answers if this industry is not now regulated.

“I’ve put out all that cash and it’s simply wasted cash. I do not need to have to begin once more however sadly that could be the case, however there are millions of households on the market that may’t afford to try this.”

Nedim Ailyan and Ben Stanyon of specialist business advisory firm FRP were appointed as Joint Administrators to Safe Hands Plans Limited, who had more than 45,000 customers in the UK, on Wednesday 23 March 2022. Funds of policy holders are held by Safe Hands Trust Fund.

The Joint Administrators were appointed by the directors of Safe Hands Plans after a period of severe financial challenge which has left the business unsustainable in its current form. Upon appointment of the Joint Administrators, the business has ceased to trade and will no longer provide funeral planning services to existing customers. Current plans have been terminated and the business will no longer take any direct debit or standing order payments.

An interim funeral services provision by Dignity Funerals Limited was agreed for a period of 14 days. The Joint Administrators of Safe Hands Plans Limited have agreed a further 14-day interim funeral services provision with Dignity Funerals Limited up to and including 20 April 2022.

Nedim Ailyan, Partner at FRP and Joint Administrator of Safe Hands Plans Limited, said: “Safe Hands Plans is no longer in a position to continue trading as a result of the Administration. Our immediate focus has been to secure an interim funeral services provision with Dignity for the next 14 days to ensure that any plan holders that pass away are cared for whilst we seek to find a longer-term solution.

“As Joint Administrators, we have been appointed by the court and will undertake a detailed statutory investigation of the financial position of the business and the events leading to the insolvency. This will support our work as we progress towards realising the company’s assets to make returns to creditors.

“Regrettably, the administration means the company is not in a position to issue refunds at this time. We appreciate how upsetting this period of uncertainty will be for Safe Hands Plans’ customers and their families.

“We will contact all plan holders, and personal representatives of any deceased plan holders, to outline the process for registering a claim as part of the administration.”

From July 29 FCA regulation will be coming into force and all funeral plan providers and intermediaries must have appropriate authorisation to continue.

Customers can contact Safe Hands Place’s customer service number: 0800 640 9928.

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